The new semester is thoroughly on a roll, which you can interpret as positively or as negatively as you want. While some people are still sorting out timetables and contemplating life choices, most of us are now thoroughly settled into our university rhythms, be those as they may.
Since it’s still early in the semester and everyone is getting their bearings, your cousin finds that this is a good time of year for self-reflection – you know, before you drown in assignments and semester tests (again).
This time of year, the university landscape isn’t really “new” to anyone on campus anymore. We’ve worked out the intricacies of laundry etiquette, the perils of grocery budgeting, and how the line at Coffee Buzz works (although some of you still misuse the freaking HB lifts – “I take the stairs to my flat every day!” is a real-life excuse your cousin heard in the lift recently).
What was I talking about again? Right, self-reflection. This can involve many things, from considering your own flaws (which a lot of us do all the time anyway), to exercising self-care, to reevaluating our relationships. Your cousin feels the need to focus on the latter, and friendships in particular. Since you’ve had time to get to know wonderful new people throughout the year, you might have realized that some of those people aren’t as wonderful as you first thought.
Have you ever noticed how some “friends” only like you when you have money/food/mind-altering substances to offer? Such fair-weather friends are pretty common at university (and in life). But what about friends who are subtle when it comes to outright abusing you?
Yes, this is yet another heavy topic for your cousin to tackle, but it’s important too. Have you ever had a friend who needs you to be available at absolutely all hours, and if you don’t answer their messages immediately because you were – heaven forbid – having a nap or some other normal human activity, they snap?
This is unhealthy, especially if said friend is never available when you need them in return. Friends like these might also want to discuss their personal problems at length with you – yet when you try to do the same, they give you curt responses or (worse yet) tell you that your problems “aren’t as bad” as theirs. Like a picture from an old magazine destined for use in an apathetic Grade 8 LO project, cut them out. What your cousin is saying is that it’s okay to want more for yourself – from life, from your studies, and from the people you surround yourself with. Like a boet from Jo’burg with a striped hemp hoodie who has just discovered (and immediately appropriated) Eastern philosophy, I’m telling you to “embrace positive vaabs”.
Tell me what you want, what you really, really want,